Old Fashioned Roses

 Soft apricot rose Crepsecule
Old-fashioned rose Crepsecule

I don't grow many old-fashioned roses in my garden - yet! I'm interested in getting more, though - and visits to old-fashioned rose gardens always inspire me to write huge lists. I love the history which accompanies old roses, with so many named after real people.

There's plenty of space here for new rose garden areas, plenty of sunshine and fresh air, and some good comprehensive old rose catalogues. Pity about the lack of money!

In late spring my most favourite old-fashioned rose is Mutabilis (when the foliage is new and fresh). Then as summer progresses Raubritter always takes my eye. And Crepuscule is such a well behaved and well-groomed climber whatever the season...

It's so hard to choose the best one. I hope you'll enjoy my modest collection, which I promise will soon get bigger!

Danae RoseDanae Rose...
I love the big 'antique' shrub rose Danae. But I've ignored her (photographically, at least) for years. She flowers for weeks on end, in lemon yellow shades which echo the fluffy rugosa Agnes, her nearest rose neighbour. And this is the reason for my visual indifference...
Archduke Joseph RoseArchduke Joseph Rose...
Some roses are so praiseworthy that a gardener just has to have one. Some are too famous to ignore. Some have sentimental reputations. Some just get grabbed, thoughtlessly, in a rose sale. Welcome to my garden, Archduke Joseph, often spelt Archiduc Joseph.
Gerbe RoseGerbe Rose...
Some pink roses puff out their fluffy chests and push themselves into centre stage. 'Just look at me!' they shout, these pink prima donnas. The Gerbe rose is a pink climber (actually a Wichurana rambler) whose performance is rather more restrained. As a consequence, in my garden it is hardly noticed...
William Lobb and Henri MartinWilliam Lobb and Henri Martin...
I only grow two moss roses in my garden - the muddy purple-red William Lobb and the clear red-pink Henri Martin. I've planted them both near water features, where they are encouraged to be their own natural shape. Just beautiful!
Celine Forestier RoseCeline Forestier Rose...
Celine Forestier was one of my original rose purchases for an archway in the Hazelnut Orchard. I bought two, but almost immediately they were both poor doers. So I added more robust roses either side of their archways and left the spindly ladies to sulk. Each year their performance was underwhelming. But...
Madame Caroline Testout RoseMadame Caroline Testout Rose...
When I was choosing old roses for the orchard, Madame Caroline Testout really appealed to me as the 'mother of all hybrid teas'. She sounded soft and gorgeous, and I had enthusiastic, misty visions of antique pink loveliness.
Lady Hillingdon Climbing RoseLady Hillingdon Climbing Rose...
Multiple climbing Lady Hillingdon roses should be growing happily in my garden. I say 'should be' - two, ordered from an expensive specialist rose nursery, have floundered around. However, a budget supermarket Lady Hillingdon, found starving in a plastic bag, has thrived. So the moral of the story is?
Souvenir de Madame Leonie Viennot RoseSouvenir de Madame Leonie Viennot Rose...
Here's an old-fashioned rose that all country gardens should welcome with open arms. Souvenir de Madame Leonie Viennot loves to drape and sprawl along fence lines. Her flowers are an adorable blend of pinks and peaches that only roses can get away with.
Alberic Barbier RoseAlberic Barbier Rose...
In my earlier garden days I was impressed by roses climbing along country fences and up into country trees. So I planted a couple of Alberic Barbiers along the Driveway fence to do just this. Two of him!
Souvenir de la Malmaison RoseSouvenir de la Malmaison Rose...
What a beautiful country rose Souvenir de la Malmaison is - when seen from a distance. This rose spreads and arches her fat pink flowers, and looks drop dead gorgeous. But don't get too close!
Banksia Lutea RoseBanksia Lutea Rose...
My Banksia Lutea rose - a yellow Banksia - started life as a small cutting. It was nipped (oops) from a bush I saw on a country garden tour.
Raubritter RoseRaubritter Rose...
Raubritter is a beautifully cupped old-fashioned pink rose, which I first saw growing at Lyddington (a garden filled with old roses in rural Canterbury, New Zealand).
Honorine de Brabant Striped RoseHonorine de Brabant Striped Rose...
One of my favorite striped roses is the old-fashioned shrub rose Honorine de Brabant. She started life unfairly squashed into a shady garden, rudely kept in place by a wooden cage. Now she enjoys sunnier times in the Dog-Path Garden over the water race.
Reine des Violettes RoseReine des Violettes Rose...
Reine des Violettes (Queen of the Violets) is one of the prettiest old-fashioned roses I grow. She has been shifted around a fair bit, and at the moment lives near the woodshed underneath a variegated elm. This rose has a beautiful fragrance.
Complicata RoseComplicata Rose...
Complicata is a once-flowering old-fashioned rose I grow in the messy garden in front of my (equally messy) glass-house. It's a rose that likes to spread out over other plants. A well behaved scramble sets its large single pink flowers off nicely.
Crepuscule RoseCrepuscule Rose...
The soft apricot rose Crepuscule contributes so much to a garden - it's thornless, and the new growth is clean and reddish in colour, so there's no desperate need to dead-head it.
Mutabilis RoseMutabilis Rose...
Mutabilis can never claim to be a neat, manicured rose. Its flowers are scattered over the bush, facing different directions, all in different states of growth or decay. They remind me of a swarm of butterflies resting between flights.